London bombs have small impact on cinema-going
by Annika Pham
One week on the day after London’s terrorist bomb attacks which killed at least 52 people and injured more than 700, Londoners are making a point of not being intimidated by the tragic events and continuing with ‘business as usual’, including going to the cinema as part of their leisure activities.
According to trade publication Screen International, although cinema admissions in the UK capital dropped by 75% to 80% the day of the attacks because of the forced closure of many cinemas, the weekend of July 8-10 didn’t show a dramatic decline in attendances and the 44% drop from the previous week was probably due to the hot weather and lack of new attractive blockbusters or arthouse films more than the fear of going to the cinemas, a feeling shared by many UK distributors.
The only major new release of the week, Pathé’s horror film The Descent even attracted bigger crowds in London than nationwide, grossing £41,454 (€60,500) from 13 screens in the West End. The film ended up taking the third place of the UK box office with a £570,850 (€832,175) gross from 329 screens in total, after the US blockbusters Batman Begins (£13.8m - €20.1m) and War Of The World (£17,5m - €25.5m).
Amongst last week’s new European cinema releases, Jean-Pierre Limosin’s Novo, a Swiss/French/Spanish co-production and Laurent Baffie’s French comedy The Car Keys (Les Clés de bagnole) only screened in one cinema: the Cine Lumiere in London, grossing respectively £343 (€500) and £281 (€410) over last weekend.
Meanwhile arthouse distributor Artificial Eye continues to ride on the surprise success of the Italian film The Consequences of Love which has now passed the £323,000 (€470,742) gross from 11 screens on its 7th week release.
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